Photo: Morby Photography
Brides in D.C. looking to have a wedding ceremony that no other bride in the country can have? You may want to consider marrying on the National Mall at one the iconic monuments. There's just something truly magical about marrying the love of your life with the looming shadow of one of our founding fathers in the background. Not to mention — guests who are history buffs will love such an original, historical wedding venue. Brides who want to experience this special affair can find out how in the step-by-step process below.
Know Where and When You Can Hold Your Ceremony
When we say ceremony — that's the only thing we mean (no receptions allowed). Couples can only marry in three specific places on the National Mall: the west lawn of the majestic Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the stately D.C. War Memorial and the serene George Mason Memorial. There are time limits for each except the D.C. War Memorial. The Jefferson Memorial is also specific to the west lawn only. Read real brides' reviews here!
Know What Paperwork You'll Need
Weddings are considered Type 1 Special Use permits on the National Mall. The link to the special use permit application is available here. The doc is 3 pages, and can be easily filled out — just keep in mind there's a non-refundable fee of $50 that goes along with it.
Brides can use this handy guide to help them figure out details for their National Mall wedding. Additionally, couples will need to meet with a National Park Service Representative to schedule an appointment to discuss set-up as well as schedule an inspection of the site after the ceremony. Specific items like staking for tents can't be driven more than 18 inches into the ground and no glass containers are permitted, so make sure that you read their rules very carefully.
Study the Calendar
Washington, D.C. can be a busy city. Brides must make sure to plan the wedding around concerts, holidays, and yearly demonstrations so as not to conflict with any major events. Another must-know tip: The National Mall has had areas of construction going on for years, so it's important to know your specific location's situation so that you don't have any construction-filled backdrops in the photos.
Think About Transportation
Parking can be tricky around the National Mall, and riding the Metro in a wedding gown is not ideal, so reserving alternate transportation is necessary. Brides who wish to marry at one of the three permitted monuments should consider transportation like Uber or Lyft, or perhaps local D.C. transport services like Reston Limousine or Chariots for Hire. That way the couple of honor and guests will all be stress-free on the big day.